So each of you needs to be careful. If your brother sins [against you], confront him about it, and if he has a change of mind and heart, then forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times in a single day, if he turns back to you each time and says he’s sorry and will change, you must forgive him. – Jesus Luke 17:3-4
The other night I went outside to find Johnbull, he had been gone for sometime so I knew he was out dealing with a discipleship opportunity with one of our children. I found him sitting outside the Redeemed House he had a small circle of staff and children with him. I asked what was going on and he told me the story. One of our staff asked one of our children, who was playing a game of checkers, to go and call the boys for dinner. The child didn’t respond to the staff member so she said to him that he enjoyed playing games too much. The child got up and left, called the other children to go and get their dinner, but he didn’t return to eat his dinner. He was so “offended” by what the staff member had said that he decided not to eat.
I couldn’t help but laugh when I heard this. He had decided to punish himself and not eat because of offense over something so small. My heart also broke for him because at that moment I knew that if he were to leave the Children’s Village, with this stage of maturity, he would have a hard life. He had made the decision to take her comment to his heart. We discussed how he could have dealt with this by making the decision to love and forgive, they hugged and we prayed. I hope that next time he is faced with something like this he will not chose offense.
It is so true for each of us:
to love is a decision.
to forgive is a decision.
to not be offended is a decision.
to reconcile is a decision.
As we seek God for change in our culture at CORM and trust Him to do a new thing here, we are faced with areas within the ministry that are practical and hands-on but not always easy.
I am a person who loves peace and hates conflict, but one thing I have come to realize as we lead our children and staff, conflict resolution done well is so extremely necessary for our family and ministry to thrive. The more we work towards healthy conflict resolution it is becoming so obvious that the condition of our minds and hearts cause more issues than the conflicts themselves when we are so quick to be offended.
“ A person can not change the output of their life until first they change the input.” ~ Zig Ziglar
I love this quote!
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.” (The Voice)
This is my prayer for each child. each of our staff. each person we disciple. That they will fill their minds with beauty and truth…it is difficult to be easily offended when we live our lives thinking upon the things of the LORD.